Lauded in the West Mahmoud Abbas President of the Palestinian National Authority is greatly exercised about Jews. We know this because he laboured the point in a combative speech delivered to the General Assembly of the United Nations last week.
Even Jonathan Freedland, a supporter of the Palestinian cause, described the speech clearly: ‘The language was especially uncompromising, condemning the ‘colonial military occupation’, ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘the brutality of repression and racial discrimination’. Abbas spoke of ‘apartheid’—always an incendiary word when applied to Israel-Palestine—and described what Israel calls its security barrier as a ‘racist annexation wall”.
As Abbas was delivering his speech one of his officials in Ramallah was revealing that 250,000 of the approximately 600,000 Palestinians in Syria have become refugees due to the civil war there. Mohamed Shtayyeh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that 93,000 of the displaced Palestinians had fled to Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Shtayyeh added that Palestinians who fled to the neighbouring Arab countries were living under harsh conditions.
Unfortunately, despite the tens of thousands of Palestinians who are being butchered and expelled from their homes in Arab countries, President Abbas sees evil as emanating from one source only, Israel.
The warring parties in Syria who are killing Palestinians by the hundred were ignored in order to criticise Israel. Over the last two years nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed and countless others injured in Syria. This was passed over in silence. Abbas did not, however, neglect to stress to the UN that 27 Palestinians were killed by the Israel Defence Forces since the beginning of the year.
Near the end of his speech Abbas did make passing reference to the plight of the refugees. But the mistreatment of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Egypt was passed over without a word.
Abbas’s speech shows that the Palestinian leadership considers construction of new housing units in settlements and neighbourhoods of Jerusalem as being much more serious than the displacement of a quarter million Palestinians.
In a survey earlier this year the Pew Research Centre found 40% of Palestinians agreed that ‘suicide attacks against civilians in defence of Islam are often/sometimes justified’. Yet for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s security fence in the West Bank, designed to end suicide bombings, is more problematic than the killing and displacement of tens of thousands of Palestinians in Syria.
Abbas did not seem to have time to mention the suffering of his own people at the hands of Arab governments and terror groups and said not a single word of condemnation of any Arab country for mistreating Palestinians over many decades. In the worldview of the Palestinian Authority, as with their ‘useful idiots’ in the West, only Israel can be in the wrong.
What is not mentioned by Muslims and progressives alike is that the greatest hurts caused to Palestinians have been at the hands of Muslim nations. This is not a recent development but has historical resonance.
Having fled Israel at the urging of the Arab governments Palestinian refugees proved a problem, especially for the Jordanians. By 1970 large portions of Jordanian territory, areas of Amman the capital, and towns and villages along the Israeli border were under terrorist control. Weapons bearing Palestinian terrorists swaggered the streets of refugee camps with impunity. The authority of King Hussein was rejected and Hussein knew who the real masters of Jordan were, and did nothing.
The Jordanian army was aware of the danger. On a visit to an army camp the Sandhurst trained king was outraged to see a woman’s brassiere flying from a tank antennae. His demand for the meaning of this was met with, ‘This means that we are women,’ replied the male tank commander, ‘You don’t let us fight.’
Eventually Hussein could no longer allow his kingdom to slip from his hands. On 17th September 1970 he let his army loose. It was a massacre.
Terrorists were hunted down in their homes, streets and camps and were shot out of hand. Some fled to Syria and Lebanon, 72 swam the Jordan and surrendered to the Israelis, many sheltered in the camps. Jordanian artillery pounded those camps. The number of dead civilians, including women and children, is unknown but estimates range from 3,000 to 7,000.
Muslims and progressives rarely mention the atrocities committed by Arab nations against the Palestinians. It doesn’t fit their agenda.
The alliance of progressives with Islam is not simply a result of a shared anti-Semitism, although that plays a part. Rather, this alliance is based on something deeper, a shared enemy and a shared outlook.
Winston Churchill loathed soviet communism with a passion. Unlike many of the West’s useful idiots he saw it for the evil, murderous, genocidal system it was. Yet in 1941 when Germany broke its treaty obligations and invaded its hitherto willing ally the USSR Churchill had no hesitation in allying the UK with the USSR. They fought the same enemy.
Just as the USSR was previously eager to ally with Nazi Germany so today’s progressives in the West are eager to ally with militant Islam, for the same reason, and probably with the same result.
As with the USSR and Nazi Germany, Islam and progressives have differing versions of the same shared statist ideology. Both are statist to the core, adamantly opposed to diversity or dissent. They both see a major roadblock on their paths to the attainment of power, those who hold to the Judeo-Christian tradition. We follow a different God and refuse to bow to their gods.